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SportsMonday Halloween Special: Bears Went As Panthers

In the opera of the absurd that played out at Soldier Field yesterday, the only pass all day to tight end Kellen Davis going for a spectacular touchdown was completely logical.

So were tackles made by offensive personnel after turnovers more impressive than those made - or not - all day by defensive personnel trained to make them.

Robbie Gould actually missing a 33-yard field goal makes the list, as does another Cutler Occurrence.

And let's not forget the 6-yard punt that set up the Bears' ridiculously ugly comeback and led to that Davis score.

A Tim Jennings interception return for a touchdown followed and the Bears took the lead with 6:44 remaining for the first time since the game's first score in the first quarter.

It couldn't be that easy though. At 20-19, a two-point conversion attempt beckoned. Disastrously.

First, the Bears had to burn a timeout. Second, they ran a play featuring a back-shoulder pass to a wide receiver without the receiver knowing that he was supposed to stop and turn and try to catch the ball behind his back shoulder.

And third, well, what can we say about the resulting bizarro interception return that featured a Panther defensive back diving into the end zone after every official on the field had blown the play dead way back at the other end of the stadium?

(Bears fans were treated to flashbacks of Jay Cutler breaking his thumb last year on a similar-looking return that actually counted.)

That opened the door for Carolina to retake the lead after manage to move itself into the apparent edge of Carolina kicker Justin Medlock's range (his coach had strangely spurned a 50-yard field goal try at the end of the first half) kissing a 45-yard field goal off the right upright and through to give the Panthers a two-point lead.

It was Medlock's fifth field-goal of the game, but just as importantly was his next kick: Would the Panthers continue to confuse this season's game footage of Devin Hester with footage from years past and give away field position by squib kicking the ball away from him?


The Bears still had to start their game-winning drive from their own 22, but the tone was set as the Panthers went into a prevent defense that only prevented them from winning the game. The Bears "essentially ran the same play over and over" and a half dozen short completions later - four to Brandon Marshall - the Bears sent out Gould for the game-winning field goal.

The question today, then, is whether this weird-ass game was an "outlier," as in an exception to the orderly progression of things, or something more ominous, like "the beginning of a six-game losing streak."

Remaining opponents: Titans, Texans, 49ers, Vikings, Seahawks, Vikings, Packers, Cardinals, Lions.

The Bears are 6-1, yet it might take all of those games to know just what kind of team we have here.

Today In Jay Cutler
At halftime: "These fucking fans, I swear to God."


Yet . . .

* Jay Cutler Understands Bears Fans Booing Him At Halftime

* Jay Cutler: I'd Boo Us, Too


Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

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